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Preventing the Spread of Disease

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Preventing the Spread of Disease


Published 1940


Health film using unusual imagery and metaphors to impart lessons in hygiene.


Run time 10:48
Producer National Motion Picture Company
Sponsor N/A
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W

Shotlist

Shows how communities can prevent the spread of disease by providing safe water and milk supplies, sewage disposal facilities and anti-fly measures. Shows how individuals can protect themselves by keeping away from sick people, vaccinating whenever possible, securing medical care promptly when ill, and by building up body resistance through good nutrition, exercise and sufficient rest.
Ken Smith remarks: "Every step taken to prevent the spread of disease means increased happiness and greater living efficiency for all of us." This strange little film first introduces us to "poor Barbara," a bedridden little girl who is "miserable with suffering and pain." Suddenly, the screen is filled with Dutch angle shots of marching troops. "Her body is just like a little country that has been invaded by an enemy army!" the narrator cries. "Except its soldiers are the germs of communicable disease!"
Poor Barbara is forgotten by the makers of this film at this point, and we are treated to a series of shots of frozen-faced people who are obviously very uncomfortable in front of a camera. One little girl and boy stand with the words "sick" and "well" pinned to their clothes. A woman with too much eye makeup sneezes and then a hand-held pointer edges tentatively into the frame, indicating where her spray traveled. Totally unrelated waltz music plays on the soundtrack. We are told to use screens, cleanliness and paper cups as two children run away from a door posted with a sign that reads "Scarlet Fever."
Not a very coherent film, but certainly fun to watch.

WWII WORLD WAR II MENTALITY WEIRDNESS SURREALISM DISEASE SICKNESS ARMY MARCHING TROOPS Danger Lurks Safety
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Reviews

Reviewer: MissMenorrhea - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 1, 2017
Subject: The Endless Chore Of Eliminating Germs
Germaphobes will really enjoy this film.

Broads with bushy eyebrows all over this film. Joan Crawford sure started something, eh?
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 11, 2004
Subject: A few pointers LOL
"Our body is just like a little country that has been invaded by an invading army!" cries the narrator of this ridiculous short, which demonstrates some pretty wild methods of getting sick.
Poor Barbra, why is she lying in bed at home, she could be jumping rope or doing homework! But no, she's sick, invaded by that army! After a brief summary of what germs are, we are then treated to a scene which I'll probably never forget, two kids, both wearing signs, one wears "sick" and one wears "well", funny alone in itself, but when the pointer comes out of nowhere, well, I was on the floor. Watch the kids watch the pointer LMAO. We then are treated to images of a woman coughing on her cards partner (the other woman doesn't even flinch) (Oh, the pointer comes out again while the women try hard to remain still), in the NEXT scene, oh man, woman sneezes into a hanky, her kid comes in the room and she immediately plants a kiss right on the lips of him, AND placing her hand (which contains the snot rag) on his neck! After that, well, it then dives of how one can prevent disease, and it's not as fun as the first 2 and a half minutes. But MAN, what a guilty pleasure this is. A MUST SEE on this site!
Reviewer: SeltzerRN - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 18, 2003
Subject: A Microbiologists dream?
Ahh the simplier times. If only we could avoid spreading germs by not kissing, or playing with rats. Surpringly detailed for the times.
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